Do you think of your dog as a family member ?
Treat them as small humans with fur and four feet?
If so how does this subconsciously affect your expectations of them? You don’t have to spend much time in a family environment with two dogs, to realise they may well have very different character traits. However when we fall into the trap of describing these traits as “personalities” are we doing them a disservice?
Personality is defined as :
“the quality of being a person; existence as a self-conscious human being; personal identity.”
When we describe a dogs characteristics as personality, we personify them. This in turn raises our expectations of them, to a level they may struggle to match.
Going through life with 2 or 4 feet can be no fun, if we never live up to the expectations of those around us. Perhaps we could re-frame our thoughts and describe a dog in terms of his or her …
…accepting your dogs uniqueness but also remembering your loyal friend is, a dog.
When we think in these terms, it becomes easier to accept a dogs limitations.
No matter how much you train your pet, chances are he or she will still find squirrels distracting.
No amount of training will educate your dog to wake up one morning and decide it’s time to start a diet or join a gym. We have to make lots of decisions, for our furry friends, and that’s ok,
because they are dogs…
So what “dognality” traits does your dog have?
Loyal, smart, friendly, shy, loveably daft or independent.?
Dognality comes into it’s own, as we consider a characteristic such as independence. Some dogs are happy to amuse themselves, watch out of the window and snooze. They are free spirits. But unlike independent humans, an independent dog still needs feeding, grooming and providing with all life sustaining sustenance, (but not too much, that they become overweight.) They are not independent in the same sense as humans, but when we fall in to the trap of thinking they are, we raise our expectations far to high.
“Loving a dog is so much easier, when we manage our expectations of them.“
Pictures by Saddleworth Studios
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